After guiding Team Canada to two straight Olympic Gold Medals, Steve Yzerman is stepping down from the role of Executive Director and General Manager of Canada’s Olympic team, according to The Tampa Tribune.
“It’s time to let someone else have a shot at it,”
That is what Yzerman told the media in Sochi after the Gold Medal Game yesterday. Yzerman took over the role after Wayne Gretzky relinquished it after the 2006 Turin Olympics.
After building a team in 2010 that had it’s troubles in winning the Gold Medal in Vancouver, Yzerman and his staff decided to put together a team that would play defensive hockey and shut out the opposition’s best players. For the most part that happened. Canada only gave up three goals during the tournament. They might not have scored a lot but they didn’t need to. The bread and butter of this team was defense and that’s how they played.
Yzerman can solely focus on his role of being the Tampa Bay Lightning’s General Manager. One thing he will not surely miss is having to make the tough call on who is not making the team, such as when he didn’t originally name Martin St. Louis to the team before naming him as Steven Stamkos‘ replacement.
Now the speculation can begin as who will be the next Executive Director. If the NHL decides to take part in Pyeongchang in 2018, it will surely be an NHL name. Will it be someone who was on the staff this Olympics, such as Peter Chiarelli or Doug Armstrong? Or will it be someone new? I would not be surprised at all if Joe Sakic‘s name was included in the mix.
With names like Gretzky and Yzerman taking the role, the next Executive Director will have big shoes to fill. Big shoes, indeed.